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Community Field Experience, MOA, and c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city

George Frankson is currently a teacher candidate at UBC completing his Bachelor’s of Education in Secondary English. As part of his practicum experience, BEd students are required to work in a non-typical educational setting to gain exposure to other avenues within the realm of education: the Community Field Experience.

George has spent three weeks at the Museum working with Curator of Education and Public Programs Dr. Jill Baird and Pilar Wong, Education and Public Program Intern.

George assisted in two key initiatives in his short time at MOA. First, he worked alongside Museum staff, volunteers and the Vancouver School Board Aboriginal Education Unit to help with the 4th annual First Peoples Festival at MOA. Over two days, there were over 20 workshops with Aboriginal artists, storytellers, musicians and performers. George partnered with Tyson Hall, a young Musqueam high school student, who is a member of the Museum’s Native Youth Program, to offer tours and activities of the exhibition c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city to elementary and secondary students. Over 500 students attended over two days.

c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city exhibition focuses on the area that is now referred to as the Marpole neighbourhood in Vancouver. The area was once a village and sacred burial site for the Musqueam First Nation. The exhibition emphasizes the past and contemporary histories of Musqueam and runs through January 2016.

The second initiative George undertook as part of his educational experience at MOA was the creation of a Teacher Resource for c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city. This resource is for secondary teachers and can be used alongside the Musqueam teaching kit, which is available for classroom use in September 2015. This self-guided resource covers three content areas: English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Law/Social Justice. The guide includes key quotes, big ideas and understandings to help frame exhibition and its main themes. There is also a wealth of resources available through the Museum and online sources – all included in the guide.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working at MOA. It was a new experience for me. Learning about various cultures both global and local through material culture was eye opening and very relevant to my practice as a soon to be teacher. Visiting museums will play an important role of my future teaching.” — George Frankson, B.A.; B.Ed

“It is a beautiful collaboration of voices and content; blending media, oral testimony, written remarks, and situating the cultural significance of c̓əsnaʔəm within an ongoing conversation of ancestry and the Canadian relationship to First Nations peoples. I could spend hours in the exhibition and still learn from all the ways knowledge was shared. Thank you for this experience and opportunity to witness.” — Museum Visitor